Google Cloud will acquire data analytics company Looker for $2.6 billion in cash, with the acquisition expected to close later this year - subject to closing conditions and regulatory approval.

Looker is a analytics platform for business intelligence, applications and embedded analytics.

The acquisition is Google Cloud's largest to date.

thomas kurian oracle
Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud CEO – Oracle

Lookie here

The two companies already have more than 350 customers in common, including BuzzFeed, Hearst and Yahoo.

Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud, said: "The combination of Google Cloud and Looker will enable customers to harness data in new ways to drive their digital transformation. We remain committed to our multi-cloud strategy and will retain and expand Looker’s capabilities to analyze data across clouds.”

Purchasing Looker will be Kurian’s first major acquisition as well as his most expensive purchase since starting his premiership at Google Cloud this January, after leaving Oracle.

Previous Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene gained her post after the company acquired her startup Bebop in November 2015 for $383m. She quickly led a flurry of acquisitions - in 2016, Google Cloud acquired Synergyse, a business built around teaching customers how to use Google cloud apps; in the same year it also bought video streaming company Anvato; and then proceeded to acquire Orbitera, a startup that develops a platform for buying and selling cloud-based software, for over $100m.

The company then rounded off the year by buying API management company Apigee for $625 million.